Visual resources online: Digital images of primary materials on public Web sites
by Anne Blecksmith
C&RL News, May 2008
Vol. 69, No. 5
When searching for images, the Internet is often the first and sometimes only research resource for scholars and educators, but many open-access digital image collections are part of the deep Web, keeping important visual content out of a search engine’s reach. In recent years, libraries, archives, and historical societies across the United States have created rich online visual resource collections that include a wealth of subjects and media formats. Researchers now have access to millions of primary materials from any Internet-accessible computer, which would otherwise require an in-person visit to the physical collection.
These vast digital collections created by libraries, historical societies, and other specialized collections have consequently expanded the definition of a visual resources collection. Commonly associated with a format collection consisting of analog surrogates, such as slides and study prints, the definition of a visual resources collection should now be considered in a much broader context, thanks to the possibilities offered by digital technologies. In essence, a visual resources collection is a managed repository of reproductions, or surrogates, of original material for teaching and research, making digital visual resource collections an essential component of digital libraries.
This article describes selected online digital collections created by institutions across the greater United States. Rich in images for study, teaching, and other media projects, these digital collections were notable for their open-access, coverage, organization, quality of images and metadata, and ease-of-use.
Read more: http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2008/may08/visualresources.cfm